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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 24, 2019

Former U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Sentenced to 40 Years in Federal Prison for Receipt and Distribution of Child Pornography

This morning, a federal judge sentenced a former U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant assigned to Lackland Air Force Base to 40 years in federal prison for receipt and distribution of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash, U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) Special Agent/Lt. Col. Jeffrey Hall, Commander of the 11th Field Investigations Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.   

In addition to the prison term, Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ordered that 34-year-old Rowell Flora of San Antonio, TX, be placed on supervised release for a period of 20 years after completing his prison term.  Judge Garcia also ordered Flora to pay $20,000 restitution and a $10,000 special assessment under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

“This case is yet another example of a child predator put behind bars for decades. I’m proud of the work of our office and our law-enforcement partners,” stated U.S. Attorney Bash.

On February 1, 2018, Flora pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography.  According to court records, federal authorities executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence on August 2, 2017, and seized numerous electronic devices, including the defendant’s cell phone, desktop computer, laptop computer and several external hard drives.  A forensics examination of the seized materials revealed the presence of child pornography.  By pleading guilty, Flora admitted to using his phone and computer equipment to receive and distribute multiple images and videos depicting child pornography, including files created and sent to him in June 2017 by a female with whom he was involved in a romantic relationship, 21-year-old Jaelene Roxana Fenior.  Flora persuaded Fenior to sexually exploit a minor child for Flora’s own self-gratification.

Fenior, who has admitted to generating images and videos of child pornography and transmitting them to Flora, was sentenced on June 20, 2018, to time served (approx. 10 months) and 15 years of supervised release.   

Flora has remained in federal custody since his arrest on August 2, 2017.

“This case was a perfect example of the joint capabilities of AFOSI and FBI.  We are very proud of the special agents from both agencies that worked tirelessly to ensure a child predator was removed from society,” stated Lt. Col. Hall.

AFOSI and the FBI investigated this case.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tracy Thompson prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated October 24, 2019